Ferrari are 'clearly the slowest' of the front-running F1 teams according to Fernando Alonso, despite the Spaniard currently leading the championship standings.
Alonso is 40 points clear of his closest challenger heading to Spa this weekend having battled his way to three wins this season, taking the chequered flag first in Malaysia, Valencia and at Hockenheim.
Indeed, despite Ferrari's well-documented issues with its new car early in the season, Alonso has managed to score points in every race so far but the double champion insisted that he didn't see himself as the championship favourite despite his healthy championship lead.
“In the summer, when you stop for four or five weeks and you see the points you need to talk about Formula One for some days and you see in the classification there's a good advantage for us,” he was quoted by ESPNF1
. "However, as we've seen in the first part two or three bad races can make you lose everything, and in terms of performance I think out of the guys that are at the front we are clearly the slowest.
“We have a points advantage but we have a performance disadvantage so I don't think we are any favourite."
Alonso's comments however haven't been taken too seriously by some of his rivals, with both Lewis Hamilton
and Sebastian Vettel
being quoted by the Daily Express
as dismissing the championship leaders claims.
"He would say that, wouldn't he?" Hamilton said. "He's just positioning himself in a nice way. I could say the same thing, that our car is definitely the slowest out of the top four teams."
"He's leading, so he's favourite,” Vettel added, “and he's not leading just because someone wrote a cheque and gave him his points. He deserves to be leading.
"[Ferrari] got their act together, built a very competitive car, and they have been competitive in all kinds of circumstances and conditions. If you look at the races they have been quick enough to be on the podium, win races sometimes, and that's what matters, to have that consistency and consistently strong results."